Hello there everyone, sorry for the time between articles we are just still really busy. But what I would like to talk about is something that has interested me for the past few days. I have recently been playing through Saints Row the Third, and of course I have been loving it, loving the mayhem and the craziness and the over the top raunchy humor. But I look to my left and my wife looks less than amused. This is odd. She normally finds vieogames quite fun to watch but for whatever reason, for this particular one she did not. Now I of course paused the game and asked her what was the matter and what she said kind of surprised me.
She said that she wasn't enjoying all the violence in the game. I was kind of stunned because just last week we played all the way through Tomb Raider, and I found the violence in that game to be much more disturbing than the goofy way it was presented in Saints Row. And she countered with that being the reason. Death was a big issue in Tomb Raider and was treated as such for the most part, whereas Saints Row treated it with a smirk and a cavalier attitude, especially when killing random civilians or innocents. This got me to thinking about the difference in the two ways that we normally see violence and death portrayed in games.
I'm going to continue using Tomb Raider as an example since it is fresh in my mind, and also because it represents the serious side of violence and death rather well I think. Violence is an ever present apparition in this game. We are exposed to it early on and have to react appropriately each time, lest our lives be taken from us. But at the same time, even when I was killing people to get to my objectives it never felt routine, or cavalier about it. There was a cost, a personal and emotional cost, to the main character each time we were forced to kill someone, or watch one of our loved ones die. You could even say that Death is largely what you are fighting against in Tomb Raider. Violence is used as a story element, and we never feel like this is a joking matter. If Lara is caught, there will be no goofy cut in, she may be tortured for a while but there is only one outcome and that is her death. And the game even shows us this. No matter how many times I missed a button press, the death scenes always made me flinch, whether it was being slowly choked to death or it was being impaled on a pipe as I flew down a river. I believe that many games do take this route, showing us the hard side of violence and yes even of death.
And of course on the opposite side of the coin is games like Saints Row or the earlier Grand Theft Auto's. Death does not really have a cost, besides monetarily if the death is your own. And it never really feels personal at all. Your characters never lament the loss of human life, or the death of innocents. Death and violence are your means to an end, and sometimes that end is to just amuse yourself by using some of the weapons that they are known for like the one pictured. Now this never bothered me, and I would run around doing as I wished, driving on sidewalks and punching random pedestrians because I needed the money. But for some, like my wife, the over violence as well the uncaring nature of the characters bringing down this kind of violence really is disturbing. I know that this doesn't count for everyone but I found it interesting how different types of violence kind of bother different people. So as always I want to end with something that I can learn more about you guys from, so I would like to know if there are any games that disturbed you with their violence at all, or perhaps a story of not wanting to play certain violent videogames around a loved one, or just to say hello. Either way I would love to hear from you guys as always.